Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    nyggus is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,759
    Post Thanks / Like

    Question A piece of cake or what?

    "Writing your own bestseller: a piece of cake or what?"

    Could you please clarify what this title suggests? That writing one's own bestseller is indeed a piece of cake or rather otherwise?

    Thanks,
    Nyggus

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    16,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: A piece of cake or what?

    a piece of cake - easy; not hard

    Was that a piece of cake or what? - Was that pretty easy for you to do? It was really easy, wasn't it?


  3. #3
    Charlie Bernstein is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,286
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: A piece of cake or what?

    "Or what" is a New York-ism. It's used to push for action:

    Are you going to eat that, or what?
    Are you getting out of the car, or what?


    ...or to affirm agreement:

    Was that a great movie, or what?
    Are we drunk, or what?


    So in "A piece of cake or what?" the or what is not a question. It's a way of affirming that writing a best seller is, indeed, a piece of cake.

    Many people outside the New York area think it sounds rude. New Yorkers don't.

    It's closely related to the expression of impatience will ya?

    "What time is it?"
    "Three twenty."
    "What time is it now?"
    "Three twenty-three."
    "What time is it now?"
    "It's three twenty-six, will ya?"

  4. #4
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    4,142
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: A piece of cake or what?

    "Or what" isn't always used to indicate impatience. Quite often it's used to add emphasis, or a sense of incredulity, to a statement.

    "Was that an amazing fireworks display or what?"

  5. #5
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    16,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: A piece of cake or what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    "Or what" isn't always used to indicate impatience. Quite often it's used to add emphasis, or a sense of incredulity, to a statement.

    "Was that an amazing fireworks display or what?"
    I could have said that, but I left it for you. Was that good of me or what?

Similar Threads

  1. piece of cake
    By blouen in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 18-Mar-2008, 23:20
  2. Piece of me-Britney Spears
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 31-Jan-2008, 16:31
  3. The icing on the Cake
    By BellaDonna in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 24-Apr-2006, 22:32
  4. Need help with my sister's piece of writing
    By Flash in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-Mar-2006, 05:36
  5. BTW, is Moon cake a one word or two separate words? Thanks
    By Helped Wanted in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 04-Nov-2003, 10:13

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •